A System for Connecting Brains to the Outside World

About four years ago, John Donoghue’s son, Jacob, then 18, took his father aside and declared, “Dad, I now understand what you do — you’re ‘The Matrix’!” Dr. Donoghue, 61, is a professor of engineering and neuroscience at Brown University, studying how human brain signals could combine with modern electronics to help paralyzed people gain greater control over their environments. He’s designed a machine, the BrainGate, that uses thought to move objects.

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